Does HBO Believe Sopranos Fans Are Nuts?

I have an unconrollable urge to eat capocollo (that’s gobagool to you non-Italians), kill my uncle, and then visit a psychiatrist...

Don't mind us. We’re just reacting to news about HBO adding mental health disclaimers to the beginnings of some of its shows.

That’s right. HBO has announced that it will add mental health awareness “bumpers” ahead of The Sopranos, Barry, Euphoria, and Girls among other shows in order to identify specific mental illnesses that appear in episodes and provide a call to action for anyone seeking help.

In addition, a short form content series titled “Doctor Commentaries” will include conversations on relevant scenes from HBO shows that focus on mental health illnesses.

These moves are part of HBO's “It’s OK" initiative, which aims to de-stigmatize mental illness and encourage conversation around mental health issues.

Earlier this year, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported that it found that less than 2% of all film characters and roughly 7% of TV characters experience mental health conditions on screen, which fails to reflect the fact that close to 20% of the U.S. population reports some form of mental health condition or illness each year.

(Don’t let our lighthearted banter deceive you — we urge anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, obsessive thinking — seek help immediately. Just do it. Some even say that the depression and anxiety rates across the nation are at crisis levels.)

HBO partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to create the warnings which are modeled on “The following program is rated…” slates that appear before movies and other shows.

Of the initiative, Jason Mulderig, vice president of brand & product marketing at HBO, said: “We are not saying ‘viewer discretion is advised.’  HBO has always been at the forefront of telling stories featuring complex characters, some of whom deal with mental illness, from ‘The Sopranos’ to ‘Euphoria,’ encouraging more conversation around the different facets of mental health. We are saying ‘viewer conversation is encouraged.’”